Wednesday, 30 March 2011

You're so vain

Ah Westfield. I'm still not sure if you're my friend or my foe. On one hand you provide me with modern life's heart's desires; convenience, retail therapy, entertainment & coffee. On the other hand you make me risk so much; financial solvency, time better spent elsewhere, support for local independent businesses. But enough about my own personal Saturday morning dilemmas. I still think it's worth reporting when something weird and wonderful is going on in Westfield, because like it, lump it, loathe it; Westfield is very much part of Shepherd's Bush and it ain't going anywhere anytime soon.

Today's Westfield weird and wonderful was the Evening Standard article covering the arrival of a "tweet mirror" which will take pictures of shoppers in their new or undecided upon outfits that they can then post on Facebook or share on Twitter so as to gauge a second opinion.

Source: Evening Standard
The article suggests that the mirror is provided outside "the mall... changing rooms"; and what massive communal Westfield changing rooms would these be? Any shop willing to let staff take clothes outside the perimeters of their alarms is naive to say the least and clearly hasn't done their W12 due diligence (no offence to the majority non-shop-lifting population).

Personally, I have often regularly requested the opinion of others when shopping or trying on outfits, but I don't actually listen to what they say. Don't be daft. When it boils down to it, it is me and only me who knows when my bum looks big in something, or when it doesn't look big enough, as my good friend Whitney (who is of Caribbean descent) worries about. Not only is there a terrible underlying streak of vanity in this mirror camera facebook/twitter app concept, but there is also the sad hint that you don't trust your own opinion; but who knows you better than you?

I fear I am thinking about it all far too much. It would appear it's actually just the latest in a long line of increasingly bizarre yet still entertaining "attractions" filling that vacuous atrium area in Westfield. Though I am and will continue to be guilty of using Westfield to pass away a few hours and more than a few pounds, I still think they would have been much more honest in halving the size of that atrium area and calling it "boyfriend crashing zone" as that's really what it is.

But back to the "tweet mirror", I suppose the saddest thing of all with this idea is that it assumes alot. It assumes not only do you have friends(!), but they are friends who have nothing better to do but wait for a picture of you in a too-tight dress and it assumes that these friends will then respond honestly. I'm actually not sure if you're lucky or unlucky if you answered "yes I do" and "yes they will" to all three of those assumptions. As much as I love (and I really quite worryingly do) my ever growing twitter family I would never put them under pressure of telling me when a pair of trousers I'm trying on gives me VPL or when a potential top gives me four boobs. I have eyes and an eye for style so I am actually perfectly capable of telling myself that. I am also perfectly capable and much more experienced in ignoring my own advice, which would be the other advantage of not relying on a "tweet mirror"; not making your potential fashion disasters public.

Phew. Rants over.

But I must end with some kind of peace of mind about why this riled me so much. The only tentative conclusion I can draw from both of these out-of-character rants about Westfield and the "tweet mirror" is that there really is no place for vanity in the Bush. If all Shepherd's Bush residents started relying on a "tweet mirror", or in fact any kind of mirror, it would look a very different place and not for the better.

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